Junior Boys, with Caribou and the Russian Futurists

Go ahead and brand Junior Boys IDM (rank shorthand for "intelligent dance music"). Just know that doing so would be a waste of time and precious consonants. Because what the Boys want to be are pop stars, and on their spectacular debut they manage to compress all that is right about songwriting down to a couple of blips and a backbeat. Like Gary Numan with a soul stuffed in or Depeche Mode with the bluster sucked out, the Junior Boys gurgle and burble and fizz, with vocalist Jeremy Greenspan cooing and pouting over a two-step rhythm that sounds like tin cans falling down a flight of stairs. But while the beats may click and clatter, the bulk of Last Exit is remarkably soothing; Greenspan has a voice like a cotton ball, and he bounces it playfully over gently pulsing electronics. Junior Boys make songs that go pop -- albeit very, very quietly.
KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
J. Edward Keyes